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Those who attend our online monthly pub meet-ups via Zoom will know that we like to emulate as near as possible the pub vibe by splitting up into ‘breakout groups’. To help the process we decide on a theme in advance. Last Wednesday it was London’s historic animals. All were included, even insects. We captured what attendees spoke about in the Chat. Here it is, in the raw, only slightly edited. Here goes:
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SESSION 1
Group 1. Polar bears. Hippodrome and Tower of London.
Birds. Cockney Sparrers. Trafalgar Square Pigeons. St james park pelicans
Simon the Cat. Dicken medal
Escaped tiger. Grabbed a boy. Owner intervened.
Peregrine Falcons.
Guy the Gorilla. Pickles the Dog. Chance the Dog (Parliamentary fire dog, 1834). Hodge the Cat.
We spent sometime on bees, apiaries with some emphasis on Brentford, brewing and bars.

hodge the cat

Dr Johnson’s cat, Hodge.

Room 2: ravens (obviously), various creatures from the Zoo (Goldie the eagle, Chi Chi, An An, Pipaluk), Jumbo, the Brown Dog of Battersea, Hawks (seagulls for the intimidation of), Pickles the dog, Pelicans in St James’s Park, the Black Dog of Newgate.

Room 3 Cat – Faith of St Augustine WW”/ Guy the Gorilla / Sheep over London Bridge/Seagulls feeding time at Penquin Pool at London Zoo/Peregrine Falcons?Owl in Suitcase Southside HOuse /of course squirrels, rats, pigeons,
Room 4 Cats dominating – we had Faith and her kitten Panda too. Also one who guarded the Egyptogology department in the BM, plus Carter and Regan in Snowill and very recently Doorkins Magnificat at Southwark Cathedral
Room 4 continued Old Tom, a goose who was allowed to survive at Leadenhall Market.
Room 4 continued again – polar bear from the Tower who fished in the Thames, and zebra who was photographed outside the Bon Marche in Brixton. And parakeets …
Room 4: Polly the African Grey parrot at the Cheshire Cheese – who imitated champagne corks popping to celebrate Armistice of WW1 and fell down in a dead faint after that. his stuffed remains are still in the pub . . .

From Marilyn Greene : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beastly-London-History-Animals-City/dp/1780231679

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SESSION 2. We lost track of the group numbers here. It is a drinking meeting, after all.

Group 1. Paddington Bear/Dragons city of London coal exchange/st mary le bow/camels of Eastcheap/Copenhagen Wellington’s horse’Philpot Lane mice’Memorial Hyde Park to animals/Horses of W! bronze St Judes Church/Coadestone Lion/Landseer Lions/Swanupping Vivien Mallock/Owl House of Frase King Will Street

paddington bear

Portrait of Henry Wriothesley 3rd E of Southampton and Shakespeare’s patron in the Tower of London 9at boughton House). Incarcerated in the tower, wearing black, sitting with his loyal cat. But did the cat ever exist? People posited that the cat had been brought in to keep HW company but it is alleged that the whole painting was done as a “wooing” message for James I and that it is deeply symbolic. Links with All’s Well That ends Well are posited and Southampton is alleged to have hated cats and probably the one in the painting NEVER EXISTED (sob!) Check out The Shakespaere Code website for more. [link below]

Landseer Lions (cast in South Kensington); Whittington’s cat on Highgate Hill; Catford Cat; Crystal Palace Dinosaurs; Paddington Bear; Hodge & his plate of oysters; Field Marshal Haig’s horse on Whitehall (controversial because it wasn’t modelled on his own horse!); Birds on Blackfriars Bridge; Unicorn gate at Kew Gardens; Lions on Westminster Bridge (originally by the Red Lion Brewery); Thomas Sutton’s greyhound symbol at the Charterhouse; Gresham’s grasshopper

https://medium.com/tenderlymag/nice-cats-of-history-trixie-edc6c3011177

From Tina Baxter : St Pancras Soper Lane – carvings on the benches – rats/snails/frogs/spiders
From Elizabeth Chase : https://theshakespearecode.blog/2011/05/07/the-earl-of-southampton-and-trixie-the-cat-part-one/
that’s Part 1 of 4

Our group had a whole variety of animals/insects/pub signs etc. Starting with bees / beehives – live and statues / the Bee pub at Brentford, based on the Bee Brewery. Bee boles at Fulham Palace and the Painted Hall Greenwich. The Coade lion on Westminster Bridge. There is a book of about 400 lions in London. Horses are widespread – either on their own, or with people sitting on them. Several by Elizabeth Frink, who also did the sheep in Paternoster Sq. There is a goat in Spitalfields. There are dragons/griffins marking the entrance and exit to the City of London. How could we forget Paddington. The Animals at War memorial on Park Lane and the horse’s head at Marble Arch. We also considered pub signs: numerous Red Lions, the Old Pack Horse, the Pack Horse and Talbot, Fox and Goose, White Horse, Bear, Cheshire Cat, Coach and Horses and Slug and Lettuce! Plus a few logos – Cat and Fiddle on Lombard Street, the Midland Griffin and the Lloyds Bank Black Horse. And another insect – the Gresham Grasshopper.

coade lion

The Coade Lion.

gresham grasshopper

The Gresham Grasshopper, Holborn.

From Laurence Scales : Crystal Palace monsters, Embankment sturgeons, Tipu’s Tiger, Terence Cuneo’s painted mice in his paintings, Guy the gorilla in Crystal Palace Park etc.
From Mike Marriott : Elizabeth Frink’s sheep in Paternoster Square
From Mike Paterson : Camel Corps Memorial on Embankment.
From Mike Paterson : Florence Nightingales’s Tragic Owl

Laurence Scales : Mike, there should be a LH book in this!
(Ed: there should indeed).

All images: Mike Paterson.

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